Sterling Bancorp (STL) reported net income of $2.5 million in the second quarter, or 8 cents a share, up 8% from one year ago. The total loan portfolio at the bank set a record high, approaching $1.4 billion, an increase of 10.3% from a year earlier. According to analysts at FBR Capital Markets, second-quarter earnings for the nation's largest banks showed more loans being made across the board. Meanwhile, second-quarter nonperforming assets at Sterling totaled 0.3% of all assets held by the bank, down from the 0.85% reported last year. This allowed Sterling to reduce the provision for loan losses to $3 million from $5.5 million. Two common share offerings of Sterling stock in March 2010 and again this March generated more than $100 million in proceeds. Sterling CEO Louis Cappelli said the bank used the funds to push its amount of assets to a record $2.6 billion. "We expect to see continued strong demand for Sterling's products and services through the balance of this year and beyond, due to the economic resiliency of our market, our unique focus on small-to-midsized businesses, and our dedication to providing exceptional customer service," Cappelli said. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.